Abstract

It is shown, that the sensitivity of the effective refractive index on the cladding index in evanescent optical waveguide sensors, can be larger than unity. This implies that the attenuation of a guided wave propagating in a waveguide immersed in an absorptive medium can be made larger than that of a free-space wave propagating through the same medium. The conditions and physical explanation for this puzzling behavior are identified and as a practical application, an absorption sensor, based on a suspended silicon slab waveguide,is proposed where the sensitivity is enhanced by a factor of 1.35.

[IEEE ]

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